Open houses have been one of the marketing strategies in selling a property. Over the years, real estate agents and sellers conduct them in the hope to pick-up the right buyer. However, with the rampant usage of internet and virtual open houses, questions have risen as to whether it is helpful or not. Of course, you will be the judge of that but it will depend on what stand point you are looking.
Seller and Real Estate Agents Point of View
Nowadays, most real estate agents benefit more from this activity than the sellers. Some real estate agents feel that people visit open houses just to inquire for more listings. Yes, they may look around to check the house. But it is not a 100% sure that people would purchase the property right there and then. Most of them just come in to get information in case they decide to purchase or sell houses in the future. In fact, the National Association Realtors (NAR) current statistics shows that 87% of the buyer used the internet in shopping homes. Therefore, this just proves that most buyers, who walk-in the seller's front door, have already pre-screened them online.
For real estate agents, it is unproductive and an utter waste of time. Nevertheless, it is a good way for them to gain popularity and to harbor possible clients.
Some sellers think it can put a threat on their security. There is a risk of burglary when they welcome strangers into their homes. In 2007, a Leesburg woman has been charged 34 counts of theft at open houses. Another account of theft during open houses happened in New Jersey; as two women stole luxury items from a Manhattan open house. This shows that conducting an open house becomes more of a risk to the sellers rather than a rewarding experience.
Besides, if the house is not that appealing and requires severe repair, it wouldn't be smart to conduct this event. Moreover, agents might think twice before allowing their names to be associated with such property.
What Buyers Think
When buyers go to open houses, they get a chance to converse with the real-estate agents. If they are interested to purchase the property, this will be their chance to get an initial inspection. Doing this would allow them to ascertain the condition of the house. However, in reality most buyers check the internet for listings. Therefore, shopping by attending a series of open houses is nothing more but a daunting task.
Importance to Current Market Status
Looking at the current market status, you can really say it is difficult to sell a house. Even with the rise of internet shopping and virtual homes, not all qualified buyers can go knocking at a seller's door. In a difficult situation like this, all tactics may be exhausted. Though open houses can be an added work, it might give a good outcome. According to NAR statistics for 2008, 48% of the buyers look into open houses to get information. This might just become a good reason for sellers and agents to give it a shot.